Recent News

Pizza cooked by students in ANTH 361
Instructor: Professor Ann Anagnost “My friends are all envious because we get to cook in class,” a student told anthropology professor Ann Anagnost in 2007, the first time she taught “Food for Thought” as an early fall start seminar for freshman. Since then, the class has been turned into an upper division course for both anthropology majors and a growing number of non- majors interested in interdisciplinary food studies. Student interest in food issues seems to be expanding exponentially on... Read more
Bettina Shell-Duncan
Undoubtedly all of you have heard about the significant cuts facing higher education in Washington State. We do not yet have specific details about how these cuts will affect the University of Washington and the Department of Anthropology, but we do know that this will be the largest budget reduction the University has ever experienced. For us, the squeeze is particularly tight, since anthropology remains the fastest growing major in our college, with now nearly 6oo undergraduate majors. Our... Read more
A man hanging over the side of a dumpster
By David Giles On any given Sunday, the Pike Place Market is a busy place. At the peak of the summer, “busy” can mean almost sixty thousand visitors in a day. And in the space of a year, it may mean ten million, tourists and locals alike, most of them there to shop. The market is one of Seattle’s most iconic attractions, with a spectacular range of shops and stalls. Maybe most iconic are the post-card-perfect rows of fruit and vegetables. And from those rows, many of the visitors are here... Read more
By Marie Spiker What do you eat for dinner on a typical weeknight? How does that compare to what your parents might eat? And what about your children? As an undergraduate in the Medical Anthropology and Global Health Track, Marie Spiker has been exploring these questions with pairs of parents and children of Chinese descent to understand shifts in dietary behavior between generations. She feels fortunate to undertake an honors thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Rachel Chapman, and her work... Read more
Joyce LeCompte-Mastenbrook, huckleberry gathering, summer 2010
By Joyce LeCompte-Mastenbrook Joyce LeCompte-Mastenbrook’s dissertation research is examining the connections between traditional foods revitalization in Coast Salish territory and the scientific and political aspects of management of public lands in the Cascades of Washington and British Columbia. As foodways are integral to cultural identity, food sovereignty is likewise central to the social, cultural, physical, and spiritual well being of indigenous people and communities. Chronic and life-... Read more
Hare skeleton drawing
By Jacob Fisher As a zooarchaeologist, Jacob Fisher is interested in understanding how people select and  convert raw food to cooked products. He became particularly interested in “culinary processing” when analyzing skeletal remains—mostly jackrabbits—from Antelope Cave, a Virgin Anasazi site located in northern Arizona. The well-preserved remains came from deposits dating from approximately AD 680 and 960, and consist of bone, fur, skin, and desiccated entrails. He identified how jackrabbits... Read more
Foraged urban foodstuffs on a plate
By Melissa Poe Anthropologists have written extensively about foraging traditions in small-scale societies, but few have examined wild food foraging practices in urban, post-industrial spaces. This can be explained, in part, to the predominant idea that “urban” and “nature” are mutually exclusive concepts. To address this gap, department alumnus Melissa Poe, with a team of geographers and policy analysts—including Marla Emery, Patrick Hurley, Rebecca McLain—has worked since 2008 to better... Read more
Student practicing field archaeology
Professor Peter Lape has been busy these past few years. In 2006, he was awarded a prestigious five-year grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to build capacity for archaeological research and training in Southeast Asia through collaborative activities involving the UW and SE Asian Sioutheast Asain Archaeology Finstitutions. So far this has resulted in a range of events, activities and further accomplishments. The grant funded a new tenure-track faculty position in the UW archaeology program (... Read more
Man getting manicure
Have you ever wondered why, in every society on Earth, females live longer than males? Although researchers have uncovered partial answers to this question, which include both biological and social factors, it is not clear which are the most important or why. A new research venture based in the Department of Anthropology seeks to start putting some of those pieces together. The project, called Health Initiatives for Men – or HIM for short – is a collaborative effort involving departmental... Read more
Check out Holly Barker on YouTube! Her class was the focus of a video project when she recently taught qualitative methods to undergraduate anthropology students in partnership with the Pike Place Market Senior Center and the Carlson Center. Anthropology staff member ... Read more